Back in the early days of Kindle ereaders, the first couple of generations were only available in white, and then when the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle DX were released in 2010 they started offering black versions alongside white.
Then Amazon switched to only offering a grey color they called graphite for the Kindle Touch and Kindle 4, and then after that Kindles were only available in black for several years.
But in 2016 Amazon finally brought back the option to get a white basic Kindle, and they also released a white version of the Kindle Paperwhite 3 around the same time.
Now most Kindles are available in different colors, although with the Kindle Paperwhite only the back and front border is a different color—the front is black either way. The Kindle Scribe is the only current Kindle available in one color only.
The Kids Kindle bundles are also a bit odd in that they are only offered in black. There are different colored covers to choose from, but you can only get the black version of the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite when buying a kids bundle.
Amazon always has weird names for their colored Kindles. Instead of blue, they call it “denim”. Instead of silver it’s “graphite”, or sometimes black.
The Kindle Oasis is available in Graphite and Champagne Gold. The latest entry-level Kindle is the first blue Kindle offered, and it’s also available in black. Amazon recently added more color choices to the Kindle Paperwhite with the addition of Denim and Agave Green.
Back before frontlights were common, black ereaders were known for having better contrast than white ereaders because of an optical illusion that makes it seem like text is darker with a black bezel. The color of the border surrounding text makes a surprising difference in what our eyes perceive, as the picture below illustrates (boxes A and B are the same color).
Frontlights seem to minimize this effect somewhat, as shown in this White Kindle and Black Kindle comparison, although black ereaders still have a slight edge in perceived contrast. But with white ereaders the frontlight can help make the page blend in with the border, which has its own kind of unique visual effect.
So, what is your favorite Kindle color?
Mark Ritchie says
I like denim, but I wish the blue color was on the front like your picture shows. My denim Signature Edition has a blue back and a black front. I don’t ever see the pretty blue color that I ordered. I think all the Paperwhite colors are this way.
Yeah, they are. It might just be the Kindle basic that’s denim front and back.
The front must be black for me, always. The back is not really important, although I prefer black there too.
Black. I get distracted by other colors. I choose plain covers, too – no patterns, etc.
Ross Presser says
I am unfortunately color blind, a trait which has left a lifelong negative opinion of the importance of color. And so my first instinctive reaction to this post title is “does it matter?”
But that’s just me… Sorry to interrupt 😆
Even if you’re color blind, the contrast difference between a black ereader and a white one is going to be noticeable.
It doesn’t matter because I always put a cover on it. Same with my phone.
The trouble with the Kindle colors seems to be that other than the back, the front remains black, at least on the Paperwhites. Which is then covered by a case, so I’d never see any nice new color, even if I bought same.
I just don’t see the point of coloring the back, but leaving the front boring black. The front is the part you actually LOOK AT!
As for the whole contrast deal, for me that’s a non-issue. I really enjoyed my white Sony readers, still have one! And also the aluminum PRS-950. The white border gave a more book-like effect in my opinion and felt more restful.
I tried to order my first Kobo in white as well, only to receive a defective unit. The next was also defective, in a different way, and the third they sent me was *espresso*, but had a perfect screen and worked perfectly, so I settled, because I didn’t want to go through another round of customer service and exchange. Unfortunately, there never seems to be any color choice on their 8″ models. Which I understand, because it’s more of a niche market.
But I was thrilled to have the pale green official cover option for Sage! Finally, something other than black! Yeah, I know, one can get non-official covers with more choice, but I’ve never liked any of the off-brand stuff and always go with the Kobo cover. Choice is nice!
Me too. I like Kobo’s covers and was also happy to see the green color. I was hoping the new Elipsa would get a different cover color and was disappointed to see it was black only.
The irritating thing is that the cost of the official Kobo covers is not exactly cheap and they must have a pretty good profit margin on them, so you’d think they could offer a few colors for each model without undue economical suffering…
Yeah, black goes with everything, but it does get boring if that’s all you can get.
They did offer a different color for the Forma, but ugh, plum. Not my style really.
I would love to have my hands on the agave Green Paperwhite however it would never been seen. I am also a person who never takes the cover of of their Kindle even at home. The extra weight is just normal now and I like the black front bezel exactly for that optical illusion.
I had a white iPhone 4 and man that made the screen look small and harder to read than my wife’s black iPhone of the same model.
I have the Gold toned Champagne backing Oasis, which I like.
I mainly like black on the front because of no distraction, but do think the white is neat and also like the Sage Green that has come out for a few of them.